Lose the screens these summer holidays – get outside and attract some magic! There’s nothing like letting the kids get some dirt under their nails in the backyard and building a fairy garden might be just that different holiday activity that they’ll love.

There’s something about fairies that excites, engages, enchants and compels kids (and those big kids among us who believe in a little bit of magic!). A great way to introduce your kids to gardening (and nurturing something other than their iPad) is via a living fairy garden. The great thing about this activity is that you can go as big or as small as you like, and there are so many options for decorating your creation.

Step 1: The container

Building a fairy garden in a pot makes it more portable and keeping your fairy garden in a sunny close-by spot means the kids won’t forget to water it. You can get cheap terracotta pots from your local hardware shop or go for a plastic option to keep the finished garden lightweight. Grab a bag of potting mix while you’re there.

Step 2: The greenery

Cute little punnets of flowering annuals and hardy groundcovers from your local hardware or garden store give your fairies loads of places to hide when they come to visit. And what kid wouldn’t be stoked to grow their own flowers? Keep your eye out for a fine, bright green, clumping grass-like specimen called “Scirpus” or “Fairy Lights” that produces teeny tiny white pom pom flowers a bit like one of those 1970s fibre optic lamps! Perfect!

Step 3: The fun begins

Now the fun part – filling your fairy garden with decorations and ornaments. Cicely Mary Baker’s “Flower Fairies” have been enchanting kids since 1923 and now there’s a range of plastic fairy figurines and garden decor perfect for fairy gardens. Think fairy seesaws and slides, tables and chairs. Cuteness overload! There will also be loads of things you can repurpose from around your home to decorate your garden – and this is where the creativity comes in. Think paddle pop stick fences, pebble pathways and small plastic containers or jar lids filled with water as magical fish ponds. Crystals look great in fairy gardens and your local $2 shop will be filled with cheap and cheerful little figurines and plastic gems to help your kids personalise their creation.

Make sure you give you garden a good watering once you are done and keep the water up to it every few days as pots dry out a lot quicker than garden beds over summer.

You can get your kids to write notes to the fairies and leave them in their garden on full moons, or even ask the Tooth Fairy to leave her gold coins there next time a wobbly tooth falls out.

There’s something magical about fairy gardens but what the kids don’t realise is that you are teaching them other important skills, like responsibility and commitment to keep their fairy garden flourishing. They’re also never too young to learn the joy of gardening. And hello blissfully fun screen-free holiday activity! Winning.



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